Dolphins Leonte Carroo Fantasy 2016
After bringing in DeVante Parker with their first-round pick in last year’s draft, the Miami Dolphins again addressed the wide receiver position in the third round of the 2016 NFL draft with former Rutgers receiver Leonte Carroo.
The Dolphins traded away their sixth-round pick in this year’s draft and their third and fourth round picks in the 2017 NFL draft to select Carroo with 86th overall pick.
Carroo, Rutgers’ 2015 Homer Hazel Trophy recipient, accumulated 94 receptions for 1,877 yards and 20 touchdowns during his final two years with the Scarlet Knights. With the addition of the two touchdowns he recorded as a sophomore, Carroo surpassed current New Orleans Saints receiver Brandon Coleman and former Oakland Raiders receiver Tim Brown to cement himself as Rutgers’ all-time leader in receiving touchdowns (29).[the_ad id=”58837″]In 2014, Carroo put together the sixth-best single-season receiving performance in terms of receiving yards (1,086) and his 10 touchdowns tied Coleman and Marco Battalglia for the most receiving touchdowns in a season, but, unfortunately, his success didn’t completely carry over to his final season. In addition to losing his former high school quarterback Gary Nova to graduation, Carroo missed four games in 2015 because of an ankle injury and a two-game suspension.
According to Dan Duggan of NJ.com, former Rutgers head coach Kyle Flood had suspended Carroo indefinitely after he had been arrested and charged with simple assault under domestic violence. Though it was originally reported that Carroo slammed the alleged victim to the ground, she ultimately dropped the charges, and as a result, Flood reinstated Carroo just one day after the case was dismissed.
Overlooking his off-the-field concerns, Dolphins GM Chris Grier raved about Carroo’s ability on the field in a press conference shortly after Day 2 of the draft.
“It was a best player available (pick),” Grier said. “He was a target player — 29 touchdowns in his career. He adds toughness and has speed for a big guy.”
In addition to his toughness and speed, Carroo is a reliable pass-catcher both when open and through contact, as he dropped just two of the 96 catchable passes thrown his way over his last two years at Rutgers, per ProFootballFocus.com.
Carroo makes an effort to train his hands in the offseason, too.
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At 6’0”, 211 pounds, he is versatile enough to play both outside the hashes and from within the slot, for he possesses the necessary quickness to create separation on short and intermediate routes in the middle of the field and brings his physicality with him to the outside when working against press coverage. Also, Carroo is a proven playmaker with the ball in his hands, as he averaged 7.2 yards after the catch per reception in 2014 and 2015.
“I catch the ball very well,” Carroo said, via MiamiDolphins.com. “I’m a very confident receiver that’s very physical. I rely on my speed a lot and I go up and make plays. I had 29 career touchdowns, and I only had three career drops in my whole entire career. I take a lot of pride in the way I catch and also the way I block as a receiver.”
In order for him to continue to have success at the next level, Carroo will have to continue to develop his route tree, but if he remains confident in his abilities, he should see a significant snap count in Miami early in his career.
With Rishard Matthews now out of the picture, Parker and Jarvis Landry are expected to take on starting roles in 2016, which in turn, should have Carroo competing with Kenny Stills for snaps at both outside and slot receiver.
Stills, a former fifth-round pick by the New Orleans Saints, earned career lows in both receptions and receiving yards in his first year with Miami; he registered just 27 receptions for 440 yards and three touchdowns in 16 games. Also, Stills graded out as the 88th overall receiver among the 121 eligible, per PFF.com.
With that being said, Carroo has an opportunity to immediately step into an important role if he outperforms Stills throughout the remainder of the offseason.
Though Landry will still pull a majority of the targets (165 in 2015), Carroo should still see between 60 and 80 targets as a rookie if he manages to jump Stills on the depth chart; therefore, he has upside as bench player in most leagues.
Check out Gridiron Experts Rookie Rankings for 2016 Projections Here
Austin Gayle is currently pursuing both his Liberal Studies and Journalism degree at San Diego State University. He began his writing career as the lead editor/writer for the website he created thedraftpulse.com. He is an Oakland, California native who has a strong passion for football at both the collegiate and professional level. He has been studying the NFL draft for over four years now and has started publishing his analysis of college level prospects since the year 2014.
He is now a featured writer for theunitedgrind.com, an NFL draft columnist for football.com, a featured writer for justblogbaby.com, and a featured columnist for Gridiron Experts. He is also a member of the Football Writers of America Association.
Due to his Bay Area roots, Austin is an avid fan of the Oakland Raiders.